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Pocahontas County Bicentennial ~ 1821-2021

Historic Sketches of Pocahontas County – 1901
By William T. Price

The first published notice of preaching services at Huntersville occurs in the diary of the Rev. S. B. Witt, a Baptist minister. He spent a year or two in pioneer preaching in Pocahontas, Bath and Greenbrier counties, about 1823-24.

During the time of his first visit to Huntersville, there was a dancing school in progress.

The dancing master very politely suspended class when time for preaching came, and took his scholars to hear the sermon.
Soon as the preaching was over, the class reassembled and finished the lesson at a later hour.
Here is an extract from Dr. Witt’s diary:

SEPTEMBER 18, 1824 – Preached to-day at Huntersville to a considerable congregation. At this place there is a dancing school just commencing, and as soon as the meeting was over the greater part of the congregation returned to the ball room and commenced dancing. Oh, that I may be the honored instrument in the hands of the Almighty of bringing them to the knowledge of the truth.

Dr. Witt became a noted minister in Prince Edward County, and gathered a church of seven or eight hundred members on Sandy River. The writer, while a student at the seminary, heard Dr. Witt preach the memorial sermon of a wealthy citizen, who committed suicide on his wife’s grave a short time after her death. The writer led the singing of the hymns.

After the service, we made Dr. Witt’s acquaintance.

The venerable man had not forgotten about the dance [at Huntersville] and mentioned the Poages and Callisons as persons he well remembered…


It is proposed in this chapter to give some particulars illustrating the family history of James Waugh, Jr. He was the eldest son of James Waugh, the Scotch-Irish emigrant, who was among the first to open land and build a home in The Hills.

In these memoirs he will be spoken of as James Waugh, the second. Early in life, he married Rebecca McGuire, from Pennsylvania…

Their daughter Rachel was married to Frederick Fleming, Elizabeth was married to John Ratliffe and lived on Clover Creek; Nancy became Mrs. Abraham Griffin and lived many years on Buckley Mountain, a few miles east of buckeye. Mrs. Claiborne McNeill, near Buckeye, is her daughter.

Jacob Waugh married Mary Brown, daughter of Josiah Brown, near Indian Draft. They had fifteen children. Only five lived to be grown…

James Waugh, the third, married Sally Cochran, daughter of John Cochran, eldest of Thomas Cochran, the progenitor of the Cochran relationship in Pocahontas county. He settled on the Greenbrier at the old homestead. His second wife was Hannah Lamb, from Highland county. In the sketch of Pocahontas county, given in Hardesty’s Encyclopedia, the reader will find biographic details of James Waugh’s personal history…

Marcus, the youngest son of James Waugh, married Susan Johnson, and settled on a farm adjoining the Waugh homestead higher up the river, a few miles east of Poages Lane…

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